On Friday, January 13, 2023, 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Eastern U.S. Time, Colonel Dr. Jeff McCausland (ret., US) presented the second lecture in the Mackinder Forum’s recently established “Colin S. Gray Memorial Lecture Series in Geostrategy.” The title of his talk: “Geostrategy and Leadership Lessons from the War in Ukraine.”
ABSTRACT: General Dwight Eisenhower once said that “leadership is deciding what has to be done and then getting others to want to do it.” This is true at every level of leadership – tactical, operational, and strategic. It is true in politics and military affairs as leaders seek to develop strategies for their nations. But it is also true for the leader of any organization no matter how small. In all cases, leaders must match ends and means to be successful.
Crises serve as invaluable case studies for both leadership and strategy. During a crisis good leadership as well as bad can be seen more clearly. Consequently, the ongoing war in Ukraine serves even now as an invaluable case study to extract enduring leadership lessons. It is well to recall the wise words of Otto von Bismarck, “only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”
BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Jeff McCausland is a Visiting Professor at Dickinson College and former Minerva Chairholder, US Army War College. He is a retired Colonel, holds a PhD from the Fletcher School, and is a West Point graduate. Military assignments include the Army Staff; battalion command during the Gulf War; Dean of the Army War College; and Director for Arms Control, NSC Staff, the White House. He has served as a Professor of Leadership at the Naval Academy and Visiting Professor at the Penn State Graduate School of International Affairs. He is also a national security consultant for CBS radio/television and published/lectured broadly both in the US and in numerous foreign countries on national security affairs. In 2020 he published a book, Battle Tested! Leadership Lessons for 21st Century Leaders.
READINGS: There are no required readings for the Mackinder Forum Lecture Series; nevertheless, for those participants who may be interested, here is a link to Colonel McCausland’s recent essay: https://press.armywarcollege.edu/parameters/vol52/iss4/.